Page:Our Common Land (and other short essays).djvu/141

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129
OPEN SPACES.

Lefevre, on behalf of the Commons Preservation Society, has twice asked them to say whether, and if so on what terms, they would arrange for the ground to be put in order and used as a garden for the people, they give evasive answers, and I believe have it in contemplation to sell it for building. The rector of Whitechapel has written to them, the guardians have memorialised them. They make no responsive sign. I make these remarks in no spirit of hostility to the Quakers; some of my oldest and best friends are Quakers, and I have the deepest respect for them as a body, and well know they have been leaders in much that is good, thoughtful, and liberal in times past, to the poor to a remarkable degree, and I know the value of such gardens is only beginning to attract notice; but I think the facts as concerning the land should be well known to the whole Society and to the public, and I only hope that the Society will consider them thoroughly at their yearly meet-